Manchester City is on track to win its third English Premier League title following a very successful summer transfer window. As of now, the team sits comfortably in first place with an undefeated league record and a seven-point goal differential over its closest competitors.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini and sporting director Txiki Begirisyain have reenforced practically all the areas that needed improvement. They also splashed the necessary cash for some potential superstars with the signing of budding English striker Raheem Sterling and Belgian midfield wunderkind Kevin de Bruyne during the summer. But everything isn’t necessarily coming up roses for the Citizens. A recent string of injuries has many wondering if predictions of a Premier League title may be a bit premature.
The team definitely made the right moves to reenforce its defensive end and the timing could not have been more perfect. Pablo Zabaleta is already out of action for a month with a knee injury, and he isn’t the only defender looking worse for wear. Both new signing Fabian Delph and Bacary Sagna suffered injuries during the international break and have many questioning whether City can continue its unbeaten streak.
Fans shouldn’t be getting too excited about Fabian Delph quite yet. The promising young defender suffered a hamstring injury during England’s win over Switzerland and will be out for a minimum of three weeks at a time when his team could use him the most.
Sagna suffered an injury with his left ankle during France’s match against Serbia and was substituted at halftime after noticeably limping on the field. Sagna assisted France’s opening goal in the first half. The defender’s mishap joins a string of poorly timed injuries with fellow French back Gael Clichy also being forced out for several weeks because of an ankle injury.
This many high-profile injuries in such quick succession would easily dash the chances of a lesser (and poorer) team. Manchester City’s squad is so stacked that the team is able keep calm and carry on with little disruption. Despite the unfortunate run of bad luck, the oddsmakers still list the team as the hands-down favourite to win it all this season. There are 1/2 odds of the Citizens taking home their third Premier League title in five years.
Thankfully, the signing of Argentine defender Nicolas Otamendi should help to minimise the impact of the team’s misfortunes. The undermanned defense should also see veteran Martin Demichelis and French fullback Eliaquim Mangala both getting more playing time than either originally planned. The injury debacle could see untested Spanish right-back Pablo Maffeo make his debut appearance on the first team squad.
Whether or not the team will be healthy enough to maintain its current form is anybody’s guess. Manchester City takes on second-place Crystal Palace FC this Saturday.